Saturday, August 8, 2009

Indifference is also the mother of most ferals

from this mornings Herald

The faces of abandonment

Ditched kitties just tip of the icebergBy BRIAN MEDEL Yarmouth BureauSat. Aug 8 - 4:46 AM

These kittens were tied up in a cardboard box and tossed into a water-filled Digby County ditch.
These kittens were tied up in a cardboard box and tossed into a water-filled Digb
y County ditch
This cardboard box held an adult cat and her young kittens. (Brian Medel / Yarmouth Bureau

DIGBY — It’s been one week since someone stuffed a mother cat and her kittens into a cardboard box, tied it shut with black twine and then tossed the box into a ditch filled with water.
The animals are alive, but the director of a local animal shelter is fuming.
Dorothy Andrews said that she saw two kittens and an adult cat sitting by a soggy cardboard box as she was driving home from the TLC Animal Shelter at about 6 p.m. on Aug. 1.
The cat had somehow scratched and poked her way through the wet box as it lay partially submerged, less than two kilometres from the animal shelter.
Ms. Andrews said the cat had likely pulled her kittens out of the box, which had been tied shut like a Christmas gift.
Ms. Andrews went back to the shelter for a live trap and some cat food. When she returned to the scene, she heard another kitten crying a few hundred metres away. This cat was larger and obviously from a different litter. It too had been thrown away.
On Wednesday, another kitten was found near the trap, barely able to move.
"It must have been hiding under the brush," Ms. Andrews said Friday.
The mother hasn’t been caught yet, and no wonder, said Ms. Andrews. The animal is traumatized, she said.
"I’ve seen the mom there looking for her babies," said Ms. Andrews. "I set a bigger trap there but I can’t seem to catch her."
Sadly this episode is not unique.
At the end of each month when people move, cats and dogs are often left inside the former residence or tied outside. Sometimes they’re simply left to wander.
People routinely drop cats at the shelter during the night, sometimes in boxes and sometimes loose, said Ms. Andrews.
"A neighbour will call and say, ‘My neighbour moved out west and is not coming back and they left their dog," said Ms. Andrews.
"These are adults . . . and the children are seeing this."
The TLC Animal Shelter is a "no kill" shelter, and it’s bursting with cats and dogs.
All animals that pass through the shelter are spayed or neutered before being released for adoption. The shelter relies solely on donations and all who work there volunteer their time.
The shelter needs supplies, especially cat food.
"We so over-supplied with cats," said Ms. Andrews.
It’s important to stress to pet owners that they are responsible for finding homes for pets they can no longer keep, she said.
This is an all too familiar song that resonates around the province. I know that I go on and on like a stuck record, but one of the reasons that this continues is that there have been no public consequences for pet abandonment.
It is against the animal cruelty laws of NS to abandon an animal. Its time for the neighbours to stop muttering about the disgraceful behaviour and report it Unfortunately, the province is full of urban legends about the friend/family member/ neighbour who reported something to the society and never heard back from anyone.
What time is it? Its way past time for this type of misinformation to be countered with a few features in the media stressing that it is against the law and that the society would be prepared to act ..... if someone would just file a complaint.
The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing... - Albert Einstein

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